Someone tried to trademark the term "September 11, 2001" on 9/11

Illustration for article titled Someone tried to trademark the term "September 11, 2001" on 9/11

A businessman named Moti Shniberg actually tried to trademark the term "September 11, 2001." And he wasted no time doing so — Shniberg filed his application on that very day, as the Twin Towers and Pentagon were still smoldering.


Thankfully, the U.S. patent and trademark office rejected his application.

From Bloomberg:

Another effort was a trademark on the term "Sept. 11, 2001" (filed on September 11, 2001, and rejected a few years later) and its use in various forms of entertainment, including TV dramas, news shows, theater productions and "musical variety, news and comedy shows." Shniberg says he filed for the trademark for "charitable purposes."

You can read his full application at the Patent and Trademark Office.

Sadly, Shniberg wasn't the only one. From the November 12, 2001 New York Times:

Hoping to find a dark cloud's silver lining, and mine it, more than two dozen enterprising types have applied for trademarks related to the events of Sept. 11.

All the applications involve slogans and symbols directly related to the terrorist attacks. Most involve trademarks intended for use on general retail merchandise — the kind of T-shirts, coffee mugs, canvas bags and trinkets sold in tourist shops in Times Square. Many incorporate the date of the attacks with sketches of the twin towers, playing on the fact that the two skyscrapers looked like the number 11.

For example, Benjamin Zapp, from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, applied for a trademark for ''09-11-01,'' with the ''11'' rendered as the twin towers, including an antenna on the left tower, and the slogan ''We will always remember'' under the date. The image is superimposed on an outline of the American flag. Mr. Zapp says he intends to use the mark for apparel, jewelry, paper goods and ceramic and glassware.

Image via Getty

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Considering Disney tried to trademark Seal Team VI/6 right after the announcement of the raid (as well as also attempting to trademark Dia De Las Meurtos), there is almost nothing that people won't try to own.